* STICK TO IT: We're in the middle of what some call "stick season" -- the tree branches are bare and the leaves are down, with the temperatures soon to follow -- but that doesn't mean you have to stay indoors in your pajamas until spring. There is still plenty of hiking, paddling, biking and climbing to get in before winter comes. To that end, a group will head to Coopers Rock in West Virginia on Saturday for a day of bouldering, in which you test your skills when climbing relatively low to the ground without need for ropes or belays. You can reserve a spot in the van headed out there by registering at www.sportrock.com, but the climbing will not be guided by Sportrock, so be sure to bring gear, food and solid climbing skills. . . .

Another good way to connect with other local climbers is to take part in the regularly scheduled Climbers' Rendezvous, which are hosted by Earth Treks on Mondays at 6 p.m. at its indoor climbing gyms in Columbia and Timonium, Md. An instructor will be on hand to help out with technique and to pair climbers looking for belay partners. For more information, visit www.earthtreksclimbing.com.

* WATER, TIGHT: Whitewater paddling on the Potomac River in November has its rewards (there's plenty of parking) and drawbacks (it's very cold when you roll). With that in mind, many paddlers head indoors to pools to sharpen their rolling skills. The Monocacy Canoe Club has posted a comprehensive list of the area's upcoming rolling sessions. To learn more about the MCC, the rolling classes and the rivers its members paddle, visit http://www.monocacycanoe.org/.

* TRAIL WORK: The Ski Touring Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club will go to the White Grass Touring Center in the Canaan Valley in West Virginia from Friday until Sunday for another of its work trips. You'll help prepare trails for the cross-country season. To sign up, contact Steve Bergstrom at steveb@nih.gov. For more information about the STS and its winter trips and plans, visit http://www.patc.net/chapters/ski/.

* UP FOR A CHALLENGE: The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts and the Bike Lane in Burke will host a clinic for cyclocross, in which you navigate obstacles on and off your bike, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Wakefield Park in Annandale. To sign up, contact Anne Mader at annec34@aol.com. MORE also has scheduled two trailwork trips on Saturday, at the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail in Montgomery County at 9:30 a.m. and at the Conway-Robinson State Forest in Prince William County, also at 9:30 a.m. To sign up and to learn more about MORE, visit http://www.more-mtb.org.

-- John Mullen